The land of breathtaking views, mountains, deserts rivers, and a diverse presence of wildlife, Colorado is nothing short of a dream destination. Moving to Colorado is pretty much on everyone’s wishlist due to the ample facilities of this beautiful state.
However, relocating can get quite exhausting when you are unaware of the pros and cons of living in Colorado, the cost of living in Colorado, and most importantly which are the best affordable places to live in Colorado.
The state is booming with people all across the United States and other parts of the world. Since there are a ton of things you have to consider such as affordable small towns to live in Colorado or the safest places to live in Colorado, having the right guide can save you a lot of time and labor.
Let us have a quick look into the things you should be knowing before moving to Colorado.
Things You Should Know Before Moving to Colorado because Colorado is famous for many reasons!
- People living in Colorado are always on the move. With multiple outdoor activity options such as skiing, hiking, biking, boating, bungee jumping, and many more, they always have an active lifestyle. Even during winter, residents love to spend their time snowboarding and indulging in other fun outdoor adventures. Also, being a mountain state, hiking is certainly one of the favorite activities of Coloradans. You should visit Rifle Mountain Park to see how beautiful the caves look, frozen.
- Colorado is a place of diverse culture. From people with various backgrounds to nature full of wonders, Colorado has everything in store for you. The natural wonders of the Rocky Mountains, the lively vibe of Denver, and people making their most in winter by skiing are some of the special features of Colorado which make it a beautiful state.
- Getting used to elevation is the most useful thing in Colorado. Places in Colorado are situated in high altitudes hence it is important to get yourself accustomed to the varied heights of the place. Feeling dizzy, fatigued, nauseous, and having respiratory problems are some of the common symptoms found after the initial move. Keep yourself always hydrated to ensure enough oxygen supply and to prevent altitude sickness.
- The weather in Colorado is quite dry. Due to the presence of the Rocky Mountains, the climate is dry and people can feel dehydrated quickly. Moisturizers, humidifiers, and sufficient water are the ways to keep sickness at bay.
- The cost of living is expensive in Colorado. With a booming job market and people flooding into the state, real estate is on the rise. However, property taxes are lower than in many other states and the flat income rate helps people to have a good standard of living.
So, let us dive in and find out the best places to live in Colorado and make your relocating experience a whole lot smoother and easier.
1. Fort Collins
- Population: 349,000
- Cost of Living Index: 116.7
- Median Home Value: $578,044
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 2.53
- Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
Located in the northern part of Colorado, Fort Collins has a beautiful, old and historic touch to it which makes it one of the best places to live in Colorado with families. The proximity to Denver and the presence of the renowned Colorado State University, make Fort Collins an attractive place for students.
The place is populated with people of all ages. If you are coming here for job opportunities and great education, consider Fort Collins as it is the best place to stay for young adults.
This place has a very low crime rate which makes it a safe place for families with kids to settle in. You will find a lot of coffee shops, parks, and other places to hang around.
Make sure to visit famous spots such as Red Feather Lakes, Horse Tooth Reservoir, and Cache La Poudre River. Fort Collins is more affordable than cities such as Denver and its amazing transport system makes it an ideal place for people to reside.
Things to do in Fort Collins
- The city is famous for producing 70% of the craft beer in the entire state. There are plenty of microbreweries that make for a must-visit spot. Take part in brewery tours to spend a beautiful day.
- There are several outdoor activities like hiking, golfing, fishing, and camping that you can indulge in.
- Visit the Global Village of the Museum of Arts, go river rafting on Cache La Poudre River, and go for a hiking trip on Horsetooth Mountain Open Space.
Cost of living in Fort Collins
The cost of living in Fort Collins is $100,200 per year to have a comfortable living.
- Population: 2897000
- Cost of Living Index: 128.7
- Median Home Value: $585,000
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 6.7
- Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Located in the Western part of the USA, Denver is certainly the most popular city and the best city to live in Colorado. It is known as the “Mile High City” because of its beautiful location at the top of the mountain.
Denver is constantly attracting residents from various parts of the country due to its amazing location, opportunities, and scenic beauty.
Currently, the city has a population of 738,594. This Colorado capital is definitely a place of varied cultures and you will find people from different communities. The neighborhoods have a lovely and warm charm. With the stunning, Rocky Mountains in the background, you can never have enough view of the city.
The job market is on the rise always and the happening vibe of the place makes it a perfect place for students and young people. The University of Denver and Aspen University are some of the famous academic institutions. House costs are quite high here, so if you are planning to move with your kids make sure to have a solid financial background.
Things to do in Denver
- Red Rocks Amphitheater always hosts interesting music and cultural shows. So, if you are in the mood for something different, visit this beautiful natural amphitheater and enjoy it.
- The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is great for people who are not into hiking. It gives stunning views of the Rocky Mountains.
- If you are looking for weekend trips from Denver, Colorado Springs is a must-visit tourist spot. There are amazing hiking peaks and you can also visit the surrounding forests like Garden of the Gods Park.
Cost of living in Denver
The cost of living in Denver is 8% higher than the state average.
- Population: 104,175
- Cost of Living Index: 141.3
- Median Home Value: $980,000
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 3.33
- Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Boulder is known for its excellent quality of life, great landscapes, and lively charm. Located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is a popular college town and home to the University of Colorado Boulder.
This place boasts a strong economy, good career opportunities, and an active lifestyle. With great access to schools and universities and a very low crime rate, this is certainly the best place to live in Colorado with kids.
Boulder’s well-planned transportation makes people’s lives smoother and easier. There are ample ways to entertain yourself through good food, lively music, art galleries, and many more.
The weather is pleasant throughout the year and you will get sunshine always. Residents of Boulder are extremely health conscious hence finding medical facilities will never be an issue.
Things to do in Boulder
- Great for outdoor lovers, Boulder Creek Path is an excellent place to go for a hike. This nine-mile trail can be a spot for family picnics as well.
- Downtown Boulder is buzzing with amazing restaurants and coffee shops. Give yourself a nice treat and shop your heart at the Pearl Street Mall. From trendy clothes to home decor, it’s certainly a shopper’s paradise.
- Jamestown Mercantile has great craft beer spots, and live music which makes it the perfect way to spend your weekend.
Cost of living in Boulder
The cost of living in Boulder is 29% higher than the national average.
- Population: 386,261
- Cost of Living Index: 118.9
- Median Home Value: $508,617
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 8.99
- Unemployment Rate: 3.2
The third largest city in Colorado, Aurora makes it to the list of best places to live in Colorado if you are planning to relocate. The best part about living in Aurora is its affordability. With properties at a low rate, you must consider Aurora, if you are tight on budget.
The city is very close to Denver and the International Airport is easily accessible. Also, this place has great friendly neighborhoods and you are likely to meet people from various backgrounds.
Aurora has several high-ranked public schools and universities and the family-friendly atmosphere makes it a great place to settle in. However, the traffic system is not well-organized and this place is not entirely crime free. Southern parts of Aurora are a lot safer than the northern parts.
Things to do in Aurora
- Breathe some fresh air in the lap of nature at Cherry Creek State Park which is a vast park.
- Go to Southlands to shop for some of the best brands and all sorts of fashionable items.
- Aurora Reservoir is a great recreational place. Go fishing, swimming, scuba diving, or indulge in other water sports for a fun day with friends.
5. Estes Park
- Population: 5904
- Cost of Living Index: 127.9
- Median Home Value: $721,707
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 2.03
- Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
With a low crime rate and amazing health facilities nearby, Estes Park, a small town in Northern Colorado makes for the best place to retire in Colorado. With a small population, the city is safe and has friendly neighborhoods. It is a mountain town with great natural views, wildlife, and a place bustling with outdoor activities.
A large percentage of residents are above the age of 60, hence if you wish to retire in Colorado, you might consider Estes Park as your preferred place. Since it is the base of Rocky Mountain National Park, there are a plethora of things to explore and keep yourself engaged in. Estes Park is a great place to take a cheap and affordable vacation in Colorado.
Things to do in Estes Park
- You have to visit Stanley Hotel if you are in Estes Park. The world-famous horror movie “The Shining” was shot here and the hotel offers a guided tour of this haunted hotel.
- When in Colorado, you have to wear your hiking shoes and Estes Park is no exception to that. Hike to the top of Prospect Mountain for a breathtaking view.
- Visit Estes Park Marina if you love water. Go boating, kayaking, or fishing, or have some fun in the water.
Cost of living in Estes Park
The cost of living is 4% higher than the national average.
6. Colorado Springs
- Population: 506,646
- Cost of Living Index: 109.1
- Median Home Value: $480,779
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 6.05
- Unemployment Rate: 3.3
Looking for the best and cheapest places to live in Colorado? Then, look no further and make Colorado Springs your home. With a great location and a comparatively affordable cost of living, Colorado Springs is becoming a favorite place for all people.
Colorado Springs boasts of a booming job scenario and the presence of the University of Colorado- Colorado Springs, Colorado Technical University, has made it a place for great academic excellence as well.
The neighborhoods are very safe and are perfect for people to raise families there. The small-town feel of this city has a naturally friendly nature to it.
Moreover, residents of Colorado are outdoor enthusiasts. With sunny weather all year round, people indulge in hiking, biking, or exploring the popular places of this city.
Things to do in Colorado Springs
- Pikes Peak is the best place for hikers because of the panoramic view it provides. Go for a walk or a hike on the highest summit of this region which is surrounded by forests, lakes, and canyons. Pikes Peak also makes for an amazing romantic vacation in Colorado Springs if both of you are nature lovers.
- Garden of the Gods offers stunning rock formations and makes for a great day trip. Visit the park and indulge in activities like horseriding, biking, climbing, hiking, and many more.
- Do you want to visit the highest zoo in the United States? Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is built on a mountain and you will be amazed to see a great range of wildlife there.
Cost of living in Colorado Springs
The cost of living in Colorado Springs is 8% higher than the national average.
7. Grand Junction
- Population: 65.560
- Cost of Living Index: 96.0
- Median Home Value: $383,372
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 5.31
- Unemployment Rate: 3.4
Grand Junction is the “Wine Country” of Colorado. The affordable home prices, well-organized healthcare system, and easy options for commute are some of the reasons making Grand Junction a popular and admired city.
Young families love to move to this city due to its safety and excellent education system. A sufficient number of hospitals and medical facilities have also made Grand Junction a city with a growing population.
With more than 20 wineries, needless to say, people love going for wine tours in this city. As one of the least expensive cities to live in Colorado, Grand Junction is also high on outdoor activities like river rafting, boating, skiing, and rock climbing.
Things to do in Grand Junction
- Colorado National Monument beautifully captures the landscape of Colorado and the vast stretches of the desert will surely take your breath away. Go camping or hiking, you will spend a lovely time at this place.
- Make a visit to the historic Grand Junction Downtown which has tons of old buildings, art galleries, and shopping places.
8. Castle Rock
- Population: 73,158
- Cost of Living Index: 137.8
- Median Home Value: $707,336
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 1
- Unemployment Rate: 2.60%
Situated in Douglas County, Castle Rock is considered to be the fastest-growing city in Colorado. If you wish to relocate to a city and have a comfortable living, consider Castle Rock. With the low crime rates, presence of good food joints, and easy access to jobs, Castle Rock makes for a great small-town place.
Healthcare is available at an affordable price. However, real estates are little on the higher side. Red Hawk, Plum Creek, and The Meadows are some of the safe and well-known neighborhoods where families usually live. Douglas County also has a good number of schools for kids.
Things to do in Castle Rock
- The Edge Adventure Park is a great visit for people who want to recharge themselves. Zip lining and rock climbing are the high-demand activities of this place.
- If you are in Castle Rock, you can’t miss out on the Castle Rock Wine Fest. Experience more than 100 brands of wines and have a cozy time with your friends or partner.
Cost of living in Castle Rock
The cost of living in Castle Rock is 15% higher than the national average.
- Population: 111,876
- Cost of Living Index: 88.6
- Median Home Value: $314,369
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 1
- Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
Known for outdoor recreation, beautiful warm weather, and an affordable cost of living, Pueblo is a great place to live in Colorado. As the largest steel-producing city, it has a diverse community of people and thriving job opportunities are attracting a lot of people nowadays.
If you are looking for a warm place in Colorado, you can give it a try.
However, keep in mind that Pueblo does not have a lot of good public schools. But the job market is steadily growing and has great future prospects. Residents of Pueblo indulge in a lot of cultural activities and music, arts are a major part of this community.
Things to do in Pueblo
- Pueblo Historic Arkansas Riverwalk is a charming place to visit. People come here for strolls or biking and the long stretch of the mural is certainly a major attraction of this place.
- Visit White Water Park to have a fun-filled day planned with your friends. Go kayaking or river rafting in the Arkansas River.
Cost of living in Pueblo
The cost of living in Pueblo is 10% lower than the average rate.
- Population: 6949
- Cost of Living Index: 305.9
- Median Home Value: $298,9761
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 0.57
- Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Aspen has to make it to the list of best places to live in Colorado due to its amazing location, great academic scenario, and very high standard of living.
If you are on the lookout for a budget-friendly place in Colorado, then certainly Aspen won’t satisfy you. The world-class restaurants, boutique shops, and high range of houses have made Aspen a place to consider only when you have a lavish lifestyle.
Skiing in Aspen is the favorite thing to do by the local residents as the city is covered with snow most years around. It’s a ski lover destination as the place is filled with powdery snow and the views are picturesque. You will also find the top-rated public schools and private schools here.
Things to do in Aspen
- Experience the luxury vibe of Aspen at the Aspen Downtown which is filled with boutiques, restaurants, bakeries, and many more.
- Visit Aspen Snowmass for an out-of-the-world skiing experience. It has four ski areas and you will find people of all ages having a fun time here.
- Population: 7511
- Cost of Living Index: 138.0
- Median Home Value: $944,619
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 0.67
- Unemployment Rate: 2.30%
With a small population, Eagle has a suburban feel to the city. You will find friendly communities and diversity present there despite the small population. The safety quotient is quite high in Eagle. Hence if you wish to move to a quiet place with safety and basic amenities, Eagle can be a good option.
People spend their time visiting restaurants and parks. A good number of public schools are available there as well.
Things to do in Eagle
- Just a quick drive and you can reach Sylvan State Park to experience some scenic Colorado views. From mountain bikers to bird watchers, this park receives a good number of footfall.
- Get yourself a good of coffee at Yeti’s Grind which serves the tastiest coffee in town.
- Population: 2595
- Cost of Living Index: 167.6
- Median Home Value: $1598429
- Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 53.6
- Unemployment Rate: 1.7%
Seated in the beautiful backdrop of the San Juan Mountains, Telluride makes for the best place to live in Colorado. You will find yourself in activities throughout the year, great food, and the world-famous skiing of Telluride will make you fall in love with this place. However, this place is certainly not the cheapest.
The Victorian town feel is an attraction among tourists. Although the population is low, there is ample space for growth and opportunities.
Things to do in Telluride
- There are a lot of events happening all-year rounds such as the Telluride Film Festival, Bluegrass Festival, and many more. Make sure to witness these events.
- Find great jewelry and art pieces at the Mountain Village which can make a great place for shopaholics.
Is it better to live in Colorado or Florida or Texas?
Colorado is a place of opportunities, a great climate, and a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. However, the cost of living is 12% cheaper in Florida than in Colorado.
So, if you are planning to relocate but have a tight budget, you may reconsider your decision. Florida is well-known for retirees, while Colorado has a vast population of young adults.
When it comes to Texas vs Colorado, there are a few things to consider. Texas does not have income tax but it has a high property tax. Whereas you need to pay almost 5% income tax in Colorado.
Real estates are expensive in Colorado than in Texas, so if you wish to invest in properties, Texas can be a good option. From housing to healthcare, Texas is a lot more affordable than Colorado. However, both states are experiencing rapid growth, and depending on your financial condition, both can be great options to look for.
Colorado is thriving with some of the best places to live in. With a growing economic condition, low unemployment rate, active lifestyle, and a diverse culture, these cities are worth moving to in Colorado. Whether you want are looking for career growth or want to settle down with a family, these are the best places to live in Colorado.
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FAQ: Best Places to Live in Colorado
1. What is the prettiest mountain town in Colorado?
A: Telluride is the prettiest mountain town in Colorado. The Victorian architecture, the stunning backdrop of San Juan Mountain, and the amazing views make Telluride a great place to live in.
2. Is Colorado a safe state?
A: Colorado is ranked as one of the safest states in the United States. Most of the famous cities have a very low crime rate and neighborhoods provide good security and safety.
3. What city in Colorado has the lowest cost of living?
A: Colorado Springs has the lowest cost of living in Colorado. The housing prices are comparatively lesser than in cities like Denver and Boulder. Also, house rents are low making it a good choice for young working professionals.
4. Which part of Denver is the safest?
A: Cheery Creek, Washington Park, and North Park Hill are some of the safest parts of Denver.
5. What are the downsides to living in Colorado?
A: Although Colorado is a great state to live in, there are some downsides such as high home prices, challenging altitudes, and the risk of wildfires which can be a hindrance.